NEW YORK MILLS, Minn. — Last week, a story was published about the high count of twins at North Sargent School in Gwinner, N.D. According to school reports, there are eight sets of twins in the district of about 215 students. That's about twice the national rate for twins.
After the story was published, a woman named Melanie Hultman emailed to mention she and her twin sister, Melissa, were featured in a story in 1984. Reporter Craig McEwen detailed how their small school in New York Mills, Minn. (546 students) was home to 13 sets of twins and one set of triplets. The third grade alone had four sets of twins.
In the 1984 article, then 8-year-old Melanie Ojala said she didn't really like being a twin. But that's now changed. Both Melanie and sister Melissa live in St. Louis Park, Minn.
"I'm really happy being a twin now. We are very close, and we do a lot together. My sister and her husband are like second parents to my kids," she said.
Like the students in Gwinner, Hultman says the "twin-mania" was probably a little lost on them at the time.
"I don't think it was a big deal to anyone then, probably because we had so many twins at school — plus triplets," she said.
She says she largely lost touch with the other twins from school, although, sadly, she says two died in tragic accidents — Sherri Beckman and Jacob Fraki.
The triplets are still in the area, and the 1984 article was just the beginning of their 15 minutes of fame. A couple of years later, they were chosen to appear in a national ad for Hardees.
It's interesting to note that the triplet girls who appeared in the national ad with the Geiser boys were from Jordan, Minn.